Adult Swim and Cowboy Bebop director reveal new original anime “Lazarus”

Philip Trahan
lazarus with border header

Adult Swim has announced a brand new original anime called Lazarus in collaboration with Cowboy Bebop director Shinichiro Watanabe and animation studio MAPPA.

Among many anime fans, Cowboy Bebop is still widely considered one of the most iconic and influential anime ever created. The series was directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, who went on to direct other critically acclaimed anime such as 2004’s Samurai Champloo and 2019’s Carole & Tuesday.

Many Western anime fans likely got their first glimpse of shows like Cowboy Bebop and Dragon Ball Z through Toonami — a late-night television programming block that originally ran on Cartoon Network until it was relaunched by Adult Swim in 2012.

Now, Adult Swim has announced that it’s producing a new original anime in collaboration with Watanabe. The anime is titled “Lazarus,” and it will be animated by animation studio MAPPA and produced by Sola Entertainment.

Adult Swim greenlights original anime Lazarus

Adult Swim revealed the news in a press release on July 20, 2023, confirming their collaboration with Watanabe and MAPPA.

Alongside these big names in the anime industry, American stuntman and director behind the John Wick films, Chad Stahelski, will be designing the action sequences for the series.

Additionally, Lazarus will feature music from artists like Jazz Saxophonist Kamasi Washington, Floating Points, and Bonobo.

Adult Swim gave a brief synopsis of Lazarus’ story, describing it as a science-fiction action anime with the following premise:

“The year is 2052 – an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity prevails across the globe. The reason for this: mankind has been freed from sickness and pain. Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist Dr. Skinner has developed a miracle cure-all drug with no apparent drawbacks called Hapuna. Hapuna soon becomes ubiquitous… and essential. However, soon after Hapuna is officially introduced, Dr. Skinner vanishes.

Three years later, the world has moved on. But Dr. Skinner has returned – this time, as a harbinger of doom. Skinner announces that Hapuna has a short half-life. Everyone who has taken it will die approximately three years later. Death is coming for this sinful world – and coming soon.

As a response to this threat, a special task force of 5 agents is gathered from across the world to save humanity from Skinner’s plan. This group is called ‘Lazarus.’ Can they find Skinner and develop a vaccine before time runs out?”

Fans attending the Toonami on the Green Adult Swim event at San Diego Comic-Con can get their first look at Lazarus on Saturday, July 22, 2023, where Watanabe will host the sneak preview event.

Alongside the announcement, Watanabe said, “As I embark on this creative journey, I can’t help but feel that this project will serve as a culmination of my career so far. I hope you enjoy it.”

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